Kenya is often considered as one of the best safari destinations in the world; true, but there are so many more things to do and see in Kenya that will just astonish you! As East Africa’s No. 1 tour and travel destination, Kenya is a multifaceted place with varieties of adventures, both rural and urban.
While wildlife takes most of the limelight, Kenya also has several other surprises up its sleeves. Think of the amazing beaches on the Indian Ocean, a world-class mountain trekking spot, an exceptionally good nightlife and an eclectic and ardent cultural heritage; what stays common in all of this is Kenya!
Here’s a list of the top ten things to do in Kenya that will leave you zealous for adventures: –
1. Visit the Nairobi National Park
Welcome to the country’s most accessible yet dissonant safari experience. Set on Nairobi’s southern outskirts, visiting the Nairobi National Park is ranked very high in Kenya’s list of things to do by almost everyone. The national park has abundant wildlife; all the way from the world’s densest concentration of black rhinoceros to lions, cheetahs and leopards to hyenas, zebras to giraffes, warthogs, buffaloes, ostriches and more. The park has also been popularly named as ‘Kifaru Ark’ to celebrate its existence as a successful rhinoceros (kifaru in Kiswahili) sanctuary.
Apart from that, the park in its wetland areas houses about 400 species of birds which is even more than in the entire UK! Another thing that makes visiting the Nairobi National Park one of the must-do things in Kenya is the fact that despite the park bordering the capital city, the animals, quite remarkably, seem outright unflustered!
2. Experience the Galana River
Galana River, combining the waters of the Athi and Tsavo rivers, runs through the heart of the park; this is the northernmost point of the park that most visitors are permitted to visit. What’s surprising is that despite the extensive sightseeing potential of the Galana River, not many visitors make it to the northernmost part; which quite frankly is the best part of the river. Sightings of hippos, crocs, lesser kudus, dik-diks and waterbucks are pretty common. You might even sight a few lions and leopards if you are lucky. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the distinctive Somali ostrich.
Visiting the Galana River isn’t one of the most fun things to do in Kenya because of the sightings alone; it is also the picturesque Lugards Falls, the crocodile point, and the trail running back from the falls to Voi (perfect for wildlife spotting) that make visiting the Galana River one of the famous things in Kenya.
3. Hiking Mt Kenya
Hiking on Mt Kenya’s trekking terrain is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding and beautiful things to do in Kenya and the whole of Africa! The equatorial glaciers, diverse valleys, and the sensational and towering summit are truly extraordinary sights, which are best seen during a hike to Point Lenana. The gentler slopes of Mt Elgon, however, are a better option if you wish to be more with the wildlife as Mt Elgon is home to antelopes, elephants, primates and about 240 species of birds. The multi-day hike is most certainly amongst Kenya’s best things to do.
Other hiking and trekking options include several days of enthralling walks with the Maasai through homelands, the climb up to Mt Longonot and its crater rim, a leisurely stroll in the verdant Kagamega forest while listening to the birdsong and several more. Get ready to feel reinvigorated!
4. Giraffe Centre
The Giraffe Centre, one of the constants with Kenya tour packages, is extremely famous for protecting the highly endangered Rothschild’s giraffe and is a combination of serious conservation along with some extraordinarily enjoyable activities. Not only can you observe the giraffes, but you can also hand-feed and even kiss the giraffes from a wooden structure raised to assist you to do just that. Now, that is going to be quite an experience! It’s also common to spot warthogs snuffling in the mud.
Another fun thing to do in the giraffe centre is to take the engrossing self-guided forest walk across the adjacent Gogo River bird sanctuary. One of the most famous things in Kenya, the Giraffe Centre is one of Kenya’s proud conservation stories.
5. Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is so much more than just a sport in Kenya! Ranking very high in an adventurer’s list of things to do in Kenya, mountain biking is one unique but amazing way of embracing the country’s magnificent landscapes as well as its exceptional wildlife. Riding over the red earth paths of the volcanic confines in Hell’s Gate National Park, to cycle past the grazing zebras, impalas, buffaloes and giraffes, or taking to the grasslands in the Masai Mara for a one-of-a-kind cycling safari makes mountain biking an extremely exciting and fun thing to do in Kenya.
The engagement with Kenya’s wildlife is so much more when on the saddle. Of course, the purest of mountain bikers would want nothing more than to test their cycling skills; for them, there are some exceptional single tracks of varying gradients and difficulties within Rift Valley on top of Naivasha and on Mt Kenya. For leisurely cyclists, however, the coastal areas around Malindi, Watamu and Diani beach are a safer yet equally engaging option.
6. Visit the Amboseli National Park
Amboseli belongs in the list of the most elite national parks of Kenya, and it’s pretty evident why. The national park’s signature attraction, one of the most famous things in Kenya, is the sight of hundreds of big-tusked elephants set beautifully against the backdrop of Africa’s Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m). The highest peak of Africa broods over the southernmost boundary of the Amboseli National Park while the clouds cover renders the mountain’s humungous bulk unseeable for much of the day; although the dawn and the dusk and completely different stories.
At dawn and dusk, you are sure to be rewarded with absolutely stunning vistas! Amboseli National Park is also common amongst Kenya tour packages because of its wildlife conservation; sightings of wildebeest, zebras, lions and hyenas are not uncommon. However, it’s the 370+ bird species that make Amboseli one of the premier wildlife experiences in Kenya.
7. Water sports
Want to know how an adrenaline rush in the Indian Ocean feels like? Riveting and arousing beyond words, water sports are easily one of the most fun things to do in Kenya! The most enjoyed and well-known water sports here are kitesurfing/kiteboarding and windsurfing. The very winds that power the sublime dhows fuel these two thrilling water sports. These sports have caught on massively in the country, with many of the schools providing lessons to beginners and also equipment on rentals to those with experience. One of the most famous things in Kenya, water sports can be seen in their glory particularly on the Diani Beach and the waters of Watamu.
8. Diving and snorkelling
With most of Kenya’s coast sheltered by reefs, the calm inshore waters speckled with the shoals of vibrantly variegated fishes provide some of the most transfixing and easiest snorkelling in the east of Africa. You can choose to either simply float above the seabed only five meters below and take that in or strap on a tank and take a deeper dive on the other side of the reefs where you would find whale sharks, swordfishes and dolphins play! Snorkelling and diving are, without a doubt, the most fun things to do in Kenya.
9. Camel Safari
One of the culturally enriching things to do in Kenya is the camel safaris. These extremely unique safaris are an exceptional way to go about mixing culture, wildlife, adventures and landscapes by getting into some of the remote areas where only a few others will travel with you. Most of these camel safaris operate in the northern tribal areas of the Turkana and Samburu. What that means is you will be mingling with local people and also experiencing nomadic life!
The mornings are usually spent on the move with other visitors riding alongside. The cultural interactions in the noon are some of the unusually amazing experiences that you will have here. The experienced Samburu moran (warriors) are the ones that usually lead the caravans with the English-speaking tribal guides on hand to educate you about the local botanical information, ornithology, folklore and local customs.
10. Hot Air Ballooning
Perhaps the most fun thing to do in Kenya is to indulge in the most intoxicating safaris, which is hot air ballooning! You will be enjoying from the above the famous rolling savannahs and the flat-topped acacia trees of the Masai Mara, one exciting flame blast at a time. As you silently float over the streams of wildebeest during their great migration, lions stalking for their prey or a lonely back rhinoceros moving through the jungle bushes provide unforgettable perspectives! There are only a very few experiences in life that are as exciting as they are peaceful, and hot air ballooning in Kenya is one such thing to do!
There is no doubting how beautiful the wildlife in Kenya is, but the country is a lot more than just that. Tour the country and experience the things to do in Kenya listed above – you’ll have an awesome destination!